We wish to extend fraternal New Year greetings to friends and supporters at home and abroad for 2020. The coming year is one that will see several important centenaries of momentous events in Irish revolutionary history. It is also a year that presents opportunities to advance discussion of a New Ireland. The year just past was one that began with the centenary of the revolutionary First All-Ireland Dáil. As Irish Republicans we marked this pivotal moment in our history, a true expression of the democratic will and sovereignty of the Irish people.
Last year drew to a close with the uncertainty surrounding whether the British state is to exit the EU removed. The Westminster election results also point to a shifting of the demographics in the Six Counties and with it opening the possibility of real debate about the possibility of a new and independent Ireland. Not one of the constitutional nationalist parties possess a coherent plan for a New Ireland. Indeed, the majority of that constituency have expressed their reluctance to even discuss the idea of ending partition as they fear the new political dynamic that would create and the effect it would have on their grip on political power. The coming year is one ripe for Irish Republicanism to make a proactive lead in such a debate as we possess in Éire Nua a credible alternative structure for a post-British-withdrawal Ireland.
Not for the first time, the leadership of unionism has been led up the garden path by the British Conservative establishment as it furthers its own selfish agenda. Now that the British Tories have secured an over-all majority in Westminster they are prepared once again to discard unionism. This has resulted in feelings of insecurity and betrayal within grassroots unionism. Their leadership has left them in the invidious position of being pledged to the British state, a state they have no trust in and has shown scant regard for their concerns. We share their distrust of the 26-County Administration and the idea of “Dublin rule”.
We say to the unionist/loyalist community that now is the time to take their place in meaningful discussions about their future in a New Ireland. We invite them to bring their ideas to the table just as we will bring ours. In such discussions we would present to them Éire Nua as a viable and credible alternative to the present failed and undemocratic partitionist states. Rather than being used as pawns of the British political elite, they can join in open and democratic discussions about a New Ireland.
Such discussions would be predicated on the principle of All-Ireland democracy and the sovereignty of the Irish people acting as a unit. Such talks, and the New Ireland that would emerge from them would not be subject to the whims of an alien parliament or government. Instead all sections of the Irish people, Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter, would determine their own future.
This coming year marks 100 years since the year of revolution that was 1920. We will be marking these events, including amongst others, Bloody Sunday; the murder of the Lord Mayor of Cork, Tomás Mac Curtáin; the death on hunger strike of Cork Lord Mayor Terence MacSwiney; and the martyrdom of Kevin Barry. We will be holding a series of events including a seminar in Dublin on February 15, 2020 to mark these momentous events in our history. We call on the Irish people to take ownership of their own history, just as they did in 2016, and not allow it to be sanitised by the revisionist Leinster House political elite. We should commemorate the deeds of the revolutionary generation of a century ago with pride and without apology.
As we commemorate the centenary of the revolutionary events of 1920, we think of those who suffer today because their commitment to the same cause and ideals. We take this opportunity to extend greetings to Republican POW Jonathan Hawthorn in Portlaoise Prison and commend him for his steadfast adherence to Republican principle.
We extend fraternal greetings to all those in Palestine, Catalonia, the Basque Country and wherever people struggle for the right to national independence. We pledge them our ongoing solidarity.
In the coming year we must redouble our efforts in support of the campaign to secure the right to housing and homes for the Irish people. Our struggle is for social, political and economic democracy and justice.
The most fitting way to honour the patriots of the past is to struggle to right the wrongs they fought against and build an Ireland that is worthy of their sacrifice.
An Phoblacht Abú.